Sunday, October 23, 2005

Rain,Hampton Chutney,Apple and Babu

Yesterday was a fantastic day. I had reached New York overnight from London,received by Lulu at JFK and went straight to their home in Manhattan and had a good Southy dinner.I slept at 3.30 am, after a long chatting seesion with harsha and lulu but was up and about in 2 hours. I looked at my emails,did some blogging and waited for l to get up to go for a long walk. It was raining though. She took me through her beaten paths- central park,office,veg market,bank,barns and noble,restaurants,et al.We even had gannajuice on a wayside American gannawalla's shop(thoroughly sanitised,no cat's urine) and came back well exercised.

And then after some super Madrasi Kaapi prepared by h and offered in that ubiquitious eversilver tumbler and dabara we decided to set out for some chota sight seeing to be followed by brunch.It was drizzling all the way with a strong and cold wind blowing all the time. Starbucks was the first stop. After being shown some interesting places in Chelsea and a few landmarks in Manhattan,we headed for the dosa place-'Hampton Chutney'. A pop and mom restaurant,run by a couple who visited India many years ago,got influenced by a Vedic guru and learnt the art of Indian cooking. Absoloutely heavenly dosas and uttapams and gorgeous masala with out of the world chutneys. And mango lassi. It was very very very filling. Most of the patrons were white Americans enjoying every bit of the fare that was being offered. Unprentious place,good ambience,Indian spiritual music in the background,courteous staff and good food. Value for the greenbuck!

We then had to do some real walking to burn the calories. We went to the Apple showroom.

Incredible. Massive. Hundreds of people being guided to make the buying decision. Demos,product displays,lectures,q and a sessions-you name it and they have it. They are clearly focussed. They want you to understand their product,and then get so happy so that you buy it. Brilliant marketing by Steve Jobs and his team. No doubt their ipods,ipod nanos,G4 powerbook,latest thinner version of imac,remote controls ,ipod with video are all selling like hot cakes; just flying off the shelf! Their showroom is gorgeous with ample space,modern architecture,and having thick glass as steps for the staircase leading to the firstfloor .What did I buy? That would have been a good question.I already have the ipod and ipowerbook G4. I cannot keep pace with technological obsolescence. I frankly cannot afford to replace my gizmos so fast. With Apple, when products are selling fast, they replce them with newer models.Chutzpah arising out of supreme confidence. What else.It was a totally a gratifying experience.

We then took the subway and went to the old WTC ground zero location.

I was particularly interested to see the place where thousands of innocent lives were lost in the September eleven tragedy.L was tired,we had done justice to our brunch binge and we decided to go home for a siesta. Later in the evening,we planned a dinner at Babu.And it was still raining. Owned by L and H's friends, Anil and Paayal, from Kolkata,it is a Bengali restaurant offering original Bangla ranna.

We had plenty to eat-luchis,cutlets,aaloodum,baigandai vegetable,lovely Bengali pickles and raita and ofcourse rice and masoordal. The nvs had a blast of a time with their chingdis and mutton preparations. I was very very surprised that Anil could produce chingdi in new york. There was lot of wine and whisky flowing and good company of h's brother and his wife,l's colleague kelly from sf and h's uncle.There was rasa malai,sandesh and paayas in the end.A rich finale.

I slept like a log and got up this morning fresh as a lotus and getting ready for another funday in New York.